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TÜV-certified safety for laser machining in industrial production

The higher performance of the laser beam sources goes hand in hand with increased safety requirements. The solution: KUKA LaserSpy 4.0. With this TÜV-certified optical sensor, you receive an active safety system that is safer and more cost-effective than passive systems.

08 June 2020

Protection wall systems for laser protection have to withstand a greater load

The laser power has been increased, the laser beam has been improved, and the focal length is continuously increasing. In the event of a fault, the protection wall systems would be exposed to – and have to withstand – stronger radiation. To provide sufficient protection for passive safety systems, it would be necessary to build an extremely large laser safety booth. Only this would provide sufficient distance from the laser focus and prevent the radiation from escaping. However, this is often not possible or would involve high costs. Here, active laser systems such as the KUKA LaserSpy 4.0 are a space-saving and more cost-effective alternative.

Industy-compatible, cost-effective laser protection

KUKA LaserSpy 4.0 is an optical sensor for laser safety that actively monitors the protection wall systems of the booth. If the sensor measures too much radiation within the wall elements – for example, in the case of penetration – the safety circuit is triggered within a few milliseconds and the laser process is stopped. This provides the system and operator with the necessary protection. KUKA LaserSpy 4.0 monitors the light-proof space inside a protective wall. The prerequisite for a functioning system is thus a double-panel booth. 
Simple monitoring of KUKA LaserSpy 4.0 sensors with KUKA SPY-M.

Process monitoring for laser machining in industrial production

As a result, if the laser beam damages the inner wall of the booth, the optical sensor detects this fault and switches off the laser beam source via the EMERGENCY STOP circuit before it can penetrate the outer protective wall. This applies to high-performance beam sources in the wavelength range of 850 to 1,100 nanometers. “This principle enables us to monitor the process safely,” says Matthias Miessen, Project Manager for Laser Safety Technology at KUKA.

All the technical requirements of standard IEC / EN 60825-4 for active laser guards are fulfilled. “Nevertheless, the solution with KUKA LaserSpy 4.0 is cost-effective because it does not require unnecessarily large cells to ensure safety,” says Matthias Miessen. Each sensor consists of detectors in a circular arrangement about a kernel. It is thus possible to monitor an area of 3.50 meters in every direction.